unusual greens : sweet potato greens stirfried

Yes sweet potato leaves are edible.

I found a few sweet potatoes in the bottom of a basket a couple of months ago and found them sprouting, just like the potatoes are sprouting these days. What fascinated me was the unusual color of the young shoots. It was a pretty purple and I just could not throw them away. Went out in the garden and planted them in a bare patch.

They started having a few purple green leaves and I was thrilled to see the beautiful shape of the leaves. The mali warned me that they will hijack the whole garden and will have to be thrown away eventually. I wanted to see how the sweet potatoes set underground and the leaves looked so beautiful too so I let them grow at their own pace. See how they are flourishing, the young leaves still have a purple hue but the mature leaves are green...

sweet potato leaves
sweet potato leaves
I started using the shoots for floral arrangements and even for a standalone green arrangement too, sitting on my windowsill. When I was talking to my mom about these one day she told me these are edible and her grandmother used to make a steamed patoda with it. That was enough to make me curious and I searched the internet. I found it is cooked in many countries and was impressed by the indo - chinese style stir fries. Found lots of info here and felt really happy to have found a daily supply of my greens.

I have already started stir frying the leaves as any other firm leaves Indian saag is made, especially the karam saag, and it is so yummy that I make it as a side everyday with my daal chawal. See the stir fried leaves I placed at the windowsill.

A large bunch of leaves is chopped roughly, 2 tsp of mustard oil heated in a iron kadhai, a pinch of cumin a few cloves of chopped garlic and a few broken dry red chillies, wait till they crackle and dunk the leaves in, add salt and cover to cook. Stir a couple of times and it's ready....

Loved it with chapati and chawal daal both. The leaves are not mushy after cooking like spinach leaves, but are firm like karam saag (a kashmiri leafy green which grows in water bodies) so I made it like my mom used to make karam saag back home.

Next I will try the indo- chinese style stir fry and I am sure that will be great too. I am also thinking about some gravy like preparations with it ...

Aren't you surprised to see this, more fascinating for me is it's use a decorative plant. What about a hanging basket with it ? The shoots on my windowsill are just immersed in water, supported by a few large and a few small pebbles and it is surviving and sprouting more leaves for a month now.


  1. Dear Sangeeta
    I never knew, these are edible...we used to grow sweet potato when I was kid...but the leaves were never cooked.
    Photograph is very nice .
    happy cooking

  2. Thanks for Appreciation Dear Ushnish ...

    Even for me it was a surprise that these leaves are actually edible..

  3. very pretty plant indeed and am surprised to see its use. when I saw the post's name on my dashboard I was taken aback. thanks for introducing this to us.

  4. That is lovely. Great idea to cook with any kind of greens because we don't even see these greens in the market.

  5. Very innovative recipe, never tried these leaves.

  6. sangita, pl tellhow to cultivate these as i have very little space in my flat balcony, do we need firm soil and should we use tender leaves. right from the day i saw this post iam longing to grow some sweet potato(mainly for the leaves)

  7. Hi Nirupama....
    I planted the sweet potatoes which started sprouting by their own , you can try keeping a few sweet potatoes in a dark corner in this season so that they start sprouting and then plant then in a container if you don't have a garden . It should give you enough leaves to make a saag like this...:)

  8. I have never seen sweet potato leaves that are so narrow. Check the sweet potato leaves recipe and the picture of the wide leaves at http://omnivore-almostveg.blogspot.com/2011/08/sweet-potato-leaves.html

    1. These leaves were grown from an Indian white flesh sweet potato. There are many varieties of sweet potatoes and the leaves differ in shape and size too...


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